‘Progress’ made on CBA talks, vote anticipated before CFL deadline tonight: report

The CFL remains in limbo without a collective bargaining agreement currently in place, but players are still expecting to vote on a new deal before the league’s self-imposed deadline of midnight Thursday.

According to a tweet from TSN’s Farhan Lalji: “I’m hearing the CFL & CFLPA are still in discussions. There is a belief that there will be a vote today as it would be highly unlikely they strike without one. The way both sides have dug in on the current ratio proposal makes me wonder if the rolling ratio (49%) is back in play.”

Winnipeg Free Press reporter Jeff Hamilton echoed that report minutes later, tweeting: “Told there’s been progress in the last while. Negotiations are ongoing, [CFLPA vice-president] Adam Bighill has left Bombers walkthrough. Definitely a shift from this morning. Players seem confident we’ll reach a vote at least.”

The CFL Players’ Association voted down the tentative agreement on Monday with changes to the ratio and the lack of a ratification bonus being identified as the primary reasons why.

The league has since made a new proposal to the players including a ratification bonus and a reduction in the ratio to six Canadian starters. It is set to expire on Thursday at midnight ET, with the league saying it will not present another offer.

With players unwilling to accept a reduction in the ratio, 3DownNation‘s John Hodge echoed Lalji’s belief that a potential rotational element like the one included in the league’s previous proposal could be reinserted.

“As Farhan Lalji first reported, I’ve also heard the 49 percent ratio clause could be back in play under a new proposal. However, it sounds like it may only apply to two “nationalized Americans” instead of three as per the tentative agreement from last week.”

3DownNation reported that the CFLPA executive was expected to present the CFL’s latest proposal to its player reps on Wednesday evening. Should the players vote down the league’s latest proposal, the CFL has promised to stop housing and feeding players, forcing strike action.

Toronto and Ottawa are scheduled to play the CFL’s first preseason game since 2019 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. That game and others will be cancelled if a deal cannot be reached, with the Argos already postponing their scheduled flight to Ottawa until the day of the game.